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Well, here’s a no-brainer if there ever was one. Yes, he played among an artificially limited talent pool before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 and decades before advanced training regimens produced athletes who looked like, well, athletes, but Ruth was such a historic talent that he transcends these qualifiers. In fact, his arrival in the major leagues was so seismic that it marked the end of the dead-ball era. When he joined the majors in 1914, the all-time record for home runs in a season was 27. Within seven years he had more than doubled it with 59, and he eventually produced a personal-high 60 dingers in 1927. All told, he led the AL in home runs 12 times. He was such a prodigious power hitter that his astounding .690 career slugging percentage remains the best of all time, and the gap between his mark and second place is larger than the one between second place and ninth. Oh, and he also was a great pitcher during his early years, leading the AL with a ERA in 1921 and pitching 29 and two-thirds consecutive scoreless innings across two World Series —because when you dominate the game as much as the Babe did, you may as well do so in all facets, right? Moreover, the charismatic Ruth was the first transcendent American sports superstar, routinely garnering headlines across the country for both his on-field exploits and his off-field celebrity. His play with the storied New York Yankees teams of the 1920s catapulted baseball to the prominence in the national consciousness that it still enjoys today. Not only was Ruth the greatest baseball player of all time, but he was the most important one too.
The film recorded the ceremony honoring Williams before the game, and each of Williams four plate appearances. We even get to see one of his twisted foot swings. The park was not close to being sold out, very different from the day Carl Yastrzemski retired. Murphy was able to walk around the stands and get different camera angles of Williams hitting. We can see bot how little and how much Fenway changed in the intervening 59 years. I liked the circle of brown grass in leftfield where Williams stood. I don’t think he shifted very much. The video is four minutes long, well worth the look.